1334 BC – The Macedonian army of Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of the Granicus
760 – 14th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet
1570 – First atlas ‘Theatrum Orbis Terrarum’ (Theatre of the World), published by Abraham Ortelius in Antwerp with 70 maps
1803 – First free public library, Scoville Memorial Library opens in Salisbury, Connecticut. It was the first in the United States open to the public free of charge.
1807 – Former Vice President Aaron Burr is tried for treason in Richmond, Va and acquitted
1819 – First steam propelled vessel to cross Atlantic
1826 – The HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage
1868 – Great Train Robbery-7 men make off with $98,000 in cash
1892 – Dr Washington Sheffield invents toothpaste tube
Click here to peruse the entire 10 page patent application with illustrations and descriptions
1915 – Lassen Peak, in northern California erupts with a powerful force, and is the only mountain, other than Mount St. Helens, to erupt in the continental US during the 20th century.
1931 – Canned rattlesnake meat first goes on sale in Florida
1939 – Hitler and Benito Mussolini sign “Pact of Steel”
1947 – First US ballistic missile fired
A ballistic missile is a missile that follows a ballistic trajectory with the objective of delivering one or more warheads to a predetermined target. A ballistic missile is only guided during relatively brief periods of flight and most of its trajectory is unpowered and governed by gravity and air resistance if in the atmosphere.
This contrasts to a cruise missile, which is aerodynamically guided in powered flight.
1964 – LBJ presents “Great Society”
1973 – President Nixon confesses his role in Watergate cover-up
1985 – US sailor Michael L Walker arrested for spying for USSR
1990 – Microsoft releases Windows 3.0
1992 – Johnny Carson’s final appearance as host of Tonight Show (4,531 times)
2002 – American Civil rights movement: a jury in Birmingham, Alabama, convicts former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of the 1963 murders of four girls in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church.
2004 – The town of Hallam, Nebraska, is wiped out by a powerful F4 tornado that broke a width record at an astounding 2.5 miles wide
2010 – Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ remains are reburied in Frombork Cathedral, Poland after a 200 year search for his tomb
2011 – An EF5 Tornado strikes the Joplin, Missouri killing at least 158 people, the single deadliest US tornado since modern record keeping began in 1950.
1813 – Richard Wagner, Leipsig Germany, composer
1844 – Mary Cassatt, US, Impressionist painter
1859 – Arthur Conan Doyle, UK, author brought Sherlock Holmes to life
1907 – Laurence Olivier, England, actor
1928 – T Boone Pickens, CEO (Shamrock, Mesa Petroleum Co)
1950 – Bernie Taupin, lyricist (writes with Elton John)
337 – Constantine the Great, Emperor of Rome (306-37) dies at 47
1885 – Victor(-Marie) Hugo, French writer (Les Miserables), dies at 83
1967 – Langston Hughes, American poet and playwright
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com Wikipedia and other internet searches